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Displaying items by tag: Co Wexford

#AnimalRescue - Northern Ireland coastguard teams raced to the aid of a dog trapped on a cliff ledge in Co Down earlier this week.

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, eight coastguard volunteers fought their way across boggy ground to reach the terrier that had slipped down the cliff from the Ballyhornan Coastal Path.

But once on the scene, a winch was quickly set up to rescue the petrified pooch and return him to his owners.

A rescue of a different kind was celebrated in Co Wexford in recent days after a loggerhead turtle washed up in Kilmore Quay over the Christmas period.

According to the Wexford People, the turtle – of a species used to much warmer waters – was named Ninja by staff at the Seal Rescue Ireland sanctuary who nursed her back to health after she beached alive just before Christmas.

A second turtle found over the same period at Ballyhealy Beach sadly died.

"Ninja was our first turtle in the centre and we were extremely happy with her progress," said manager Meadow Greenwood. "Our fingers are still crossed for a full recovery and final ending of release."

Ninja has since been transferred to the longer-term marine wildlife care facilities at Galway Atlantaquaria.

Published in Rescue

#MARINE WILDLIFE - At least two humpback whales have been spotted by birdwatchers off Galley Head in West Cork, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).

"This is the first time since the large whale project commenced in 1999 that humpback whales have been recorded along the Irish south or coast during April, which has been up till now the one month in which large whales have consistently been absent from our inshore waters," said IWDG sightings co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley.

The timing of this sighting was described by Whooley as "unusual". He also confirmed that one of the whales was recorded off Hook Head in Co Wexford in late January and early February of this year, which dispells the hypothesis that large whales leave Irish waters after the herring season in the southeast.

Meanwhile, Whooley sounded a word of caution for anyone hoping to spot the humpbacks for themselves, as the "sheer numbers of basking sharks about" often result in false sightings.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group has more on the story, including images, HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - A "feeding frenzy" involving a pod of fin whales was spotted off Hook Head in Co Wexford last week, The Irish Times reports.

And according to Andrew Malcolm of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), two of the whales were in the same location almost exactly a year ago.

Malcolm, who was with a group on board the Rebecca C, used photographs of the whale's dorsal fins to compare records for the confirmation.

The pod of six fin whales was seen feeding some 3km southeast of Hook Head, attracted by the herring spawning grounds in the area.

More than 30 other cetaceans, including common dolphins, porpoises and a minke whale, were sighted on the trip.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Gorey Guardian reports that the bodies of two grey seals were found washed up last week on Booley Bay beach, near Fethard-on-Sea in Co Wexford.

The two seal pups were found in an emaciated and malnourished state by a beach walker on 27 November.

According to Irish Whale and Dolphin Group chair Kevin MacCormick, dead seal strandings are not unusual at this time of year, particularly after stormy weather, and grey seals have an especially high mortality rate.

Tramua wounds and blood found on the seals were put down to predation by seabirds.

Published in Marine Wildlife
#ANGLING - The 24th Winter Shore Angling Festival will be hosted on Co Wexford's east-facing beaches from 26-28 January, the Gorey Guardian reports.
Ireland's Dave Roe will be aiming to repeat his winning effort last year in a strong field of contenders that will also include UK match angling greats Alan Yates and Chris Clarke.
Codling, whiting, dab, coalfish and rockling will be the top catches over the weekend competition, which last year had a total prize fund of more than €8,000.
And even those not competing will get a lot out of watching the best match anglers using the latest equipment and techniques to gain the edge over their opponents.
The festival entry fee is €150 and includes a presentation dinner. For further details and entry information, contact Warren Doyle at 086 806 9961 (evenings only) or [email protected]
The Gorey Guardian has more on the story HERE.

#ANGLING - The 24th Winter Shore Angling Festival will be hosted on Co Wexford's east-facing beaches from 26-28 January, the Gorey Guardian reports.

Ireland's Dave Roe will be aiming to repeat his winning effort last year in a strong field of contenders that will also include UK match angling greats Alan Yates and Chris Clarke.

Codling, whiting, dab, coalfish and rockling will be the top catches over the weekend competition, which last year had a total prize fund of more than €8,000.

And even those not competing will get a lot out of watching the best match anglers using the latest equipment and techniques to gain the edge over their opponents.

The festival entry fee is €150 and includes a presentation dinner. For further details and entry information, contact Warren Doyle at 086 806 9961 (evenings only) or [email protected].

The Gorey Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling
The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has called on the Government to continue highlighting the dangers of operating boats without adequate safety equipment, following its report into the death of a Wexford fisherman last year.
Michael O'Connor drowned after going overboard from his small open boat while fishing alone at Cullenstown, Co Wexford in the early hours of 7 September 2010.
The local Irish Coast Guard unit initiated a search when he did not return as expected later in the morning. His body was subsequently located next to his upturned boat around 9am.
It is not known to investigators how O'Connor came to be in the water when the incident occurred. He was found to be wearing a lifejacket, but no flares, VHF radio or other safety equipment were found on board his vessel.
The boat itself was also not a registered fishing vessel, and was unsuitable for carrying the fishing gear O'Connor had been using.
The report stated: "The combination of boat size, darkness, weather conditions, tidal flow, fishing equipment and the absence of safety equipment other than a lifejacket combined to increase the danger and reduce the chance of survival."
The full report is available to download as a PDF on the MCIB website HERE.

The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has called on the Government to continue highlighting the dangers of operating boats without adequate safety equipment, following its report into the death of a Wexford fisherman last year.

Michael O'Connor drowned after going overboard from his small open boat while fishing alone at Cullenstown, Co Wexford in the early hours of 7 September 2010.

The local Irish Coast Guard unit initiated a search when he did not return as expected later in the morning. His body was subsequently located next to his upturned boat around 9am.

It is not known to investigators how O'Connor came to be in the water when the incident occurred. He was found to be wearing a lifejacket, but no flares, VHF radio or other safety equipment were found on board his vessel.

The boat itself was also not a registered fishing vessel, and was unsuitable for carrying the fishing gear O'Connor had been using.

The report stated: "The combination of boat size, darkness, weather conditions, tidal flow, fishing equipment and the absence of safety equipment other than a lifejacket combined to increase the danger and reduce the chance of survival."

The full report is available to download as a PDF from the MCIB website HERE.

Published in MCIB
The first in a new series, The Sea Road, following classic Irish sea kayaking routes in The Irish Times takes Gary Quinn to the Saltee Islands.
Setting out from Kilmore Quay in Co Wexford in a group of seven, the forecast of four four winds with rain, fog and thunderstorms is concerning, but not enough to hold Quinn back. And when they finally pierce the fog to land on Little Saltee, it's all worth it.
"The fog lifts, the sun breaks through and, stepping up off the beach, a carpet of bluebells appears to bloom, almost before our eyes," writes Quinn.
The Irish Times has more on Gary Quinn's Saltee Islands visit HERE.

The first in a new series, The Sea Road, following classic Irish sea kayaking routes in The Irish Times takes Gary Quinn to the Saltee Islands.

Setting out from Kilmore Quay in Co Wexford in a group of seven, the forecast of four four winds with rain, fog and thunderstorms is concerning, but not enough to hold Quinn back. And when they finally pierce the fog to land on Little Saltee, it's all worth it.

"The fog lifts, the sun breaks through and, stepping up off the beach, a carpet of bluebells appears to bloom, almost before our eyes," writes Quinn.

The Irish Times has more on Gary Quinn's Saltee Islands visit HERE.

Published in Canoeing
A private lighthouse overlooking Waterford Harbour will be up for auction in June valued at €345,000.
The Duncannon north lighthouse - some 20km from New Ross, Co Wexford - is thought to be one of the only privately-owned lighthouses still operating in Ireland, according to The Irish Times.
The protected building was restored into use some years ago, and receives an annual rent of €2,500 from the Port of Waterford as a backup lighthouse.
The living quarters comprise two living rooms, a kitchen with "a rustic, cottagey feel", a study with a bay view, a bathroom with bath and shower, and three bedrooms (including two doubles).
Some work may be required by prospective owners - low ceilings in the double bedrooms could be raised "significantly", the main rooms may need a new lick of paint, and the sloping garden is unwalled at the cliff edge.
But the property, which also includes a number of outhouses, has all the potential to be a quirky dream home.
The Duncannon north lighthouse will go under the hammer on 17 June 2011, with New Ross agency PN O’Gorman quoting an AMV of €350,000.

A private lighthouse overlooking Waterford Harbour will be up for auction in June valued at €345,000.

The Duncannon north lighthouse - some 20km from New Ross, Co Wexford - is thought to be one of the only privately-owned lighthouses still operating in Ireland, according to The Irish Times.

The protected building was restored into use some years ago, and receives an annual rent of €2,500 from the Port of Waterford as a backup lighthouse.

The living quarters comprise two living rooms, a kitchen with "a rustic, cottagey feel", a study with a bay view, a bathroom with bath and shower, and three bedrooms (including two doubles). 

Some work may be required by prospective owners - low ceilings in the double bedrooms could be raised "significantly", the main rooms may need a new lick of paint, and the sloping garden is unwalled at the cliff edge.
But the property, which also includes a number of outhouses, has all the potential to be a quirky dream home.

The Duncannon north lighthouse will go under the hammer on 17 June 2011, with New Ross agency PN O’Gorman quoting an AMV of €350,000.

Published in Waterfront Property
Coastwatch has claimed that a ministerial order for the protection of sand dunes in Co Wexford is being breached, The Irish Times reports.
The order was made in January by former environment minister John Gormley to protect the Tinnaberna dunes from damage due to the storage of cattle over a number of years.
But the environmental group says that "dung, contaminated sediment and massive weed cultures remain" on site, and highlighted concern over its close proximity to a stream which flows into the sea near bathing water.
However, the National Parks and Wildlife service said its ecologist is "happy" with progress made on clearing the dunes.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Coastwatch has claimed that a ministerial order for the protection of sand dunes in Co Wexford is being breached, The Irish Times reports.

The order was made in January by former environment minister John Gormley to protect the Tinnaberna dunes from damage due to the storage of cattle over a number of years.

But the environmental group says that "dung, contaminated sediment and massive weed cultures remain" on site, and highlighted concern over its close proximity to a stream which flows into the sea near bathing water.

However, the National Parks and Wildlife service said its ecologist is "happy" with progress made on clearing the dunes.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
The Irish Times has stunning photographs of fin whales and dolphins feeding off Hook Head in Co Wexford captured by photographer George Karbus.
Czech-born Lahinch resident Karbus, who specialises in wildlife photography, said: “It is really hard to capture images of fin whales because they move incredibly fast, so to see them together feeding in one place was amazing and I was able to get some special images.”
Meanwhile, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group has released its first study on the ecology of fin whales in Irish waters.
Using the photo identification catalogue collected by the group since 2001, some 62 individual fin whales were identified - 11 of them being return visitors.

The Irish Times has stunning photographs of fin whales and dolphins feeding off Hook Head in Co Wexford captured by animal wildlife photographer George Karbus.

Czech-born Lahinch resident Karbus, who specialises in wildlife photography, said: “It is really hard to capture images of fin whales because they move incredibly fast, so to see them together feeding in one place was amazing and I was able to get some special images.”

Meanwhile, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group has released its first study on the ecology of fin whales in Irish waters.

Using the photo identification catalogue collected by the group since 2001, some 62 individual fin whales were identified - 11 of them being return visitors.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Page 1 of 2

Ireland's Commercial Fishing 

The Irish Commercial Fishing Industry employs around 11,000 people in fishing, processing and ancillary services such as sales and marketing. The industry is worth about €1.22 billion annually to the Irish economy. Irish fisheries products are exported all over the world as far as Africa, Japan and China.

FAQs

Over 16,000 people are employed directly or indirectly around the coast, working on over 2,000 registered fishing vessels, in over 160 seafood processing businesses and in 278 aquaculture production units, according to the State's sea fisheries development body Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).

All activities that are concerned with growing, catching, processing or transporting fish are part of the commercial fishing industry, the development of which is overseen by BIM. Recreational fishing, as in angling at sea or inland, is the responsibility of Inland Fisheries Ireland.

The Irish fishing industry is valued at 1.22 billion euro in gross domestic product (GDP), according to 2019 figures issued by BIM. Only 179 of Ireland's 2,000 vessels are over 18 metres in length. Where does Irish commercially caught fish come from? Irish fish and shellfish is caught or cultivated within the 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), but Irish fishing grounds are part of the common EU "blue" pond. Commercial fishing is regulated under the terms of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), initiated in 1983 and with ten-yearly reviews.

The total value of seafood landed into Irish ports was 424 million euro in 2019, according to BIM. High value landings identified in 2019 were haddock, hake, monkfish and megrim. Irish vessels also land into foreign ports, while non-Irish vessels land into Irish ports, principally Castletownbere, Co Cork, and Killybegs, Co Donegal.

There are a number of different methods for catching fish, with technological advances meaning skippers have detailed real time information at their disposal. Fisheries are classified as inshore, midwater, pelagic or deep water. Inshore targets species close to shore and in depths of up to 200 metres, and may include trawling and gillnetting and long-lining. Trawling is regarded as "active", while "passive" or less environmentally harmful fishing methods include use of gill nets, long lines, traps and pots. Pelagic fisheries focus on species which swim close to the surface and up to depths of 200 metres, including migratory mackerel, and tuna, and methods for catching include pair trawling, purse seining, trolling and longlining. Midwater fisheries target species at depths of around 200 metres, using trawling, longlining and jigging. Deepwater fisheries mainly use trawling for species which are found at depths of over 600 metres.

There are several segments for different catching methods in the registered Irish fleet – the largest segment being polyvalent or multi-purpose vessels using several types of gear which may be active and passive. The polyvalent segment ranges from small inshore vessels engaged in netting and potting to medium and larger vessels targeting whitefish, pelagic (herring, mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting) species and bivalve molluscs. The refrigerated seawater (RSW) pelagic segment is engaged mainly in fishing for herring, mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting only. The beam trawling segment focuses on flatfish such as sole and plaice. The aquaculture segment is exclusively for managing, developing and servicing fish farming areas and can collect spat from wild mussel stocks.

The top 20 species landed by value in 2019 were mackerel (78 million euro); Dublin Bay prawn (59 million euro); horse mackerel (17 million euro); monkfish (17 million euro); brown crab (16 million euro); hake (11 million euro); blue whiting (10 million euro); megrim (10 million euro); haddock (9 million euro); tuna (7 million euro); scallop (6 million euro); whelk (5 million euro); whiting (4 million euro); sprat (3 million euro); herring (3 million euro); lobster (2 million euro); turbot (2 million euro); cod (2 million euro); boarfish (2 million euro).

Ireland has approximately 220 million acres of marine territory, rich in marine biodiversity. A marine biodiversity scheme under Ireland's operational programme, which is co-funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Government, aims to reduce the impact of fisheries and aquaculture on the marine environment, including avoidance and reduction of unwanted catch.

EU fisheries ministers hold an annual pre-Christmas council in Brussels to decide on total allowable catches and quotas for the following year. This is based on advice from scientific bodies such as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. In Ireland's case, the State's Marine Institute publishes an annual "stock book" which provides the most up to date stock status and scientific advice on over 60 fish stocks exploited by the Irish fleet. Total allowable catches are supplemented by various technical measures to control effort, such as the size of net mesh for various species.

The west Cork harbour of Castletownbere is Ireland's biggest whitefish port. Killybegs, Co Donegal is the most important port for pelagic (herring, mackerel, blue whiting) landings. Fish are also landed into Dingle, Co Kerry, Rossaveal, Co Galway, Howth, Co Dublin and Dunmore East, Co Waterford, Union Hall, Co Cork, Greencastle, Co Donegal, and Clogherhead, Co Louth. The busiest Northern Irish ports are Portavogie, Ardglass and Kilkeel, Co Down.

Yes, EU quotas are allocated to other fleets within the Irish EEZ, and Ireland has long been a transhipment point for fish caught by the Spanish whitefish fleet in particular. Dingle, Co Kerry has seen an increase in foreign landings, as has Castletownbere. The west Cork port recorded foreign landings of 36 million euro or 48 per cent in 2019, and has long been nicknamed the "peseta" port, due to the presence of Spanish-owned transhipment plant, Eiranova, on Dinish island.

Most fish and shellfish caught or cultivated in Irish waters is for the export market, and this was hit hard from the early stages of this year's Covid-19 pandemic. The EU, Asia and Britain are the main export markets, while the middle Eastern market is also developing and the African market has seen a fall in value and volume, according to figures for 2019 issued by BIM.

Fish was once a penitential food, eaten for religious reasons every Friday. BIM has worked hard over several decades to develop its appeal. Ireland is not like Spain – our land is too good to transform us into a nation of fish eaters, but the obvious health benefits are seeing a growth in demand. Seafood retail sales rose by one per cent in 2019 to 300 million euro. Salmon and cod remain the most popular species, while BIM reports an increase in sales of haddock, trout and the pangasius or freshwater catfish which is cultivated primarily in Vietnam and Cambodia and imported by supermarkets here.

The EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), initiated in 1983, pooled marine resources – with Ireland having some of the richest grounds and one of the largest sea areas at the time, but only receiving four per cent of allocated catch by a quota system. A system known as the "Hague Preferences" did recognise the need to safeguard the particular needs of regions where local populations are especially dependent on fisheries and related activities. The State's Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, based in Clonakilty, Co Cork, works with the Naval Service on administering the EU CFP. The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine and Department of Transport regulate licensing and training requirements, while the Marine Survey Office is responsible for the implementation of all national and international legislation in relation to safety of shipping and the prevention of pollution.

Yes, a range of certificates of competency are required for skippers and crew. Training is the remit of BIM, which runs two national fisheries colleges at Greencastle, Co Donegal and Castletownbere, Co Cork. There have been calls for the colleges to be incorporated into the third-level structure of education, with qualifications recognised as such.

Safety is always an issue, in spite of technological improvements, as fishing is a hazardous occupation and climate change is having its impact on the severity of storms at sea. Fishing skippers and crews are required to hold a number of certificates of competency, including safety and navigation, and wearing of personal flotation devices is a legal requirement. Accidents come under the remit of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board, and the Health and Safety Authority. The MCIB does not find fault or blame, but will make recommendations to the Minister for Transport to avoid a recurrence of incidents.

Fish are part of a marine ecosystem and an integral part of the marine food web. Changing climate is having a negative impact on the health of the oceans, and there have been more frequent reports of warmer water species being caught further and further north in Irish waters.

Brexit, Covid 19, EU policies and safety – Britain is a key market for Irish seafood, and 38 per cent of the Irish catch is taken from the waters around its coast. Ireland's top two species – mackerel and prawns - are 60 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively, dependent on British waters. Also, there are serious fears within the Irish industry about the impact of EU vessels, should they be expelled from British waters, opting to focus even more efforts on Ireland's rich marine resource. Covid-19 has forced closure of international seafood markets, with high value fish sold to restaurants taking a large hit. A temporary tie-up support scheme for whitefish vessels introduced for the summer of 2020 was condemned by industry organisations as "designed to fail".

Sources: Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Marine Institute, Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Department of Transport © Afloat 2020

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